"Going to a Town" as written by and Rufus Wainwright....
I'm going to a town that has already been burnt down
I'm going to a place that has already been disgraced
I'm gonna see some folks who have already been let down
I'm so tired of America

I'm gonna make it up for all of The Sunday Times
I'm gonna make it up for all of the nursery rhymes
They never really seem to want to tell the truth
I'm so tired of you, America

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I've got a life to lead, America
I've got a life to lead

Tell me, do you really think you go to hell for having loved?
Tell me, enough of thinking everything that you've done is good
I really need to know, after soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood
I'm so tired of America

I really need to know
I may just never see you again, or might as well
You took advantage of a world that loved you well
I'm going to a town that has already been burnt down
I'm so tired of you, America

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I've got a life to lead, America
I've got a life to lead
I got a soul to feed
I got a dream to heed
And that's all I need

Making my own way home
Ain't gonna be alone
I'm going to a town
That has already been burnt down


Lyrics submitted by onemanguy

"Going to a Town" as written by Rufus Wainwright

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Going to a Town song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentIt has two meanings, Rufus said. The first one is that he feels that America let down on him, so he goes to Berlin. The second meaning is moving on after you've been in a relationship that was not good for you.

    I think the first verse refers to the fact that Berlin has been through the phase of disgrace before America (''burnt down'' and ''disgrace'' due to the Second World War), which e states clearly in the third sentence. It sounds logical to me...
    Plottoberryon June 17, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentRufus on Going To a Town:

    “I wrote that in about five minutes. I remember distinctly that I was waiting to go dinner and I had about twenty minutes to spare. I offhandedly said, ‘I think I’ll go down and fuck around on the piano’ and all of a sudden that song was finished. It sort of arrived. Those are always the best ones; they’re from some nether region that you have no control over.”

    I have high hopes for Release The Stars after hearing this little gem.
    onemanguyon April 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful. I don't usually listen to music like this but ever since I heard this song and 'Across the Universe' I've been in love.
    aclockworktomatoon April 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThese lyrics are pretty straight forward, and at the time I am submitting this, Rufus' narration of the song is still available on his MySpace.

    I can certainly empathize with how he's feeling, but to me these lyrics are a bit naive. He seems to believe that by leaving the US, he'll be able to escape many of the ills our society is currently facing. I think that until some massive shift in consciousness occurs, people all over the planet will be facing these issues.

    It's still a great song though!!
    Mercury46on April 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentglorious song, amazing video
    buntyvsbeanoon May 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe singer is Canadian but the town is NYC (post 9-11), where he now lives. The song pretty much sums up how 75% of Americans feel about their current administration, i.e., let down.
    wraton June 03, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe "town" he's going to is Berlin. He went there to write this album, expecting to be overcome with the misery of a town that had been destroyed, but he ended up wearing lederhosen and writing the beautiful lovey-dovey music he's so beloved for.
    SoonerEmilyon June 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFor me, this song was a total letdown. Lyrically, it's very obvious and heavy-handed. It tries to be political but doesn't say anything that hasn't been said a hundred times in the same way ("Do you really think you go to hell for having loved?"). Compared to old Rufus, this is very trite and shallow, which his myspace commentary suggests was deliberate... but I'm not buying the angsty "I'm so tired of America" lines either.

    I also hate the video. But I have hope for Rufus, still.
    somethingrugbyon June 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with somethingrugby.I think what Rufus was trying to do came across to us as dull and heavy.I like the song,but I dont purposely put "Release the Stars" in my CD player just to hear it,infact if I had this song and this song only on a disc,I would never listen to it.The video however had all these references to America and I just felt like "Okay we got it already".I thought the director did a good job on a good note.And that's about it;this song has been done over and over countless times by "political" artist,it's lame.I still love Rufus though,he would have to degrade women for me not to :)
    octogirlprettyon August 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI ignore the "I'm so tired of America" line, and this is how I see it: this song is about cutting ties a friend that is perhaps a bad influence, a negative impact on your emotional health. That ex-friend took blatant advantage of you without caring about the consequences. This song, to me, is about rising above and leaving behind someone that has held you down in a significant way.
    clareton August 24, 2007   Link

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